Marriage Mediation

Marriage Mediation

It’s worth a try 

Marriage Mediation serves couples who want to stay married, but also want to improve their relationship. As an alternative to marital counseling or therapy, Marriage Mediation is a practical approach to resolving conflict or working through impasse during which couples actively participate in conversations facilitated by a neutral third party.

Amity Mediation Workshop mediators are Florida Supreme Court Family Mediators experienced with dispute resolution techniques that help couples create mutual understanding and solve problems in an amicable atmosphere.

Marriage Mediation also may be used for overall relationship improvement.  When this is the goal, couples may also opt to participate in the Gottman Relationship Checkup assessment tool.  The Relationship Checkup streamlines the relationship assessment process and provides personalized, clinical feedback.   Dr. Jamie Williamson, Family Mediator and Communication Therapist, who is authorized by the Gottman Institute to use the Gottman Relationship Checkup tool, will assess your feedback and make specific recommendations based on your answers.

Whether couples need to resolve specific problems or want to improve their overall relationship, the goal of Marriage Mediation is to help couples stay married and become happily married again.

The Marriage Mediation Process – What to Expect

Marriage mediation is an informal and non-adversarial process designed to help couples work through their typical, solvable marital problems, as well as the more fundamental perpetual conflicts that can lead to impasse or “gridlock” (and divorce). The process begins with an interview during which the couple jointly explains their circumstances and mediation goals.  Assuming the couple and the certified family mediator agree that marriage mediation is appropriate for the couple, a series of mediation workshops will be scheduled for the couple and the mediator.  The number of workshop sessions varies, but typically involves three or four 75-minute sessions, once per week for consecutive weeks.  We refer to these private sessions as “workshops” because, to be successful, they involve active participation from both spouses and even some light homework and activities between sessions.   The homework and activities will be geared to the couple’s needs, goals, and recreational interests.

Marriage Mediation can be structured around a week-long vacation. In this approach, the couple meets every other day with the mediator and enjoys light homework and purposeful activities together as part of their vacation plans.  Again, the homework and activities are tailored to the couple’s needs and interests.

Marriage Mediation is a consensual process.  All of the solutions the couple creates will come from their work together, with facilitation, guidance, and suggestions from the mediator.  At the end of a couple’s workshop sessions, everything included in their relationship agreement must be mutually agreed upon.

Our Philosophy

The Amity Mediation Workshop approach to Marriage Mediation underscores the importance of friendship as the foundation to a happy marriage. Because they are friends, happy couples share and express mutual respect, enjoy each other’s company, and they know each other’s intimate secrets, disappointments, hopes, dreams, and deeply held values, as well as their simple preferences and pet peeves.  They have a strong, enduring positive regard for each other and naturally demonstrate their care and support of one another in dozens of ways – big and small – every day.

Happy couples also have both typical, solvable conflicts and the more distressing perpetual conflicts. The difference between happy couples and those heading for divorce is not the absence of solvable conflict, perpetual conflict, or even gridlock.  What allows them to remain happy through the inevitable ups and downs of marriage is that they respectfully and directly address their solvable issues and that they have identified the hidden issues disguised by their perpetual conflicts.  These skills make it possible for happy couples to either avoid gridlock or build an agreement that puts the issue in its place.

Couples successfully completing Marriage Mediation at Amity Mediation Workshop will be able to recognize the difference between typical, solvable problems and those that are perpetual and often lead to gridlock. The mediator will share information regarding effective approaches to conflict resolution, facilitate conversations, provide skill development exercises, and guide the couple toward resolution of their current issues. With the mediator’s help, the couple will acquire a well equipped “tool kit” for resolving conflict and retaining a happy marriage.

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